The simple fact that I must be flexible is hard for me to grasp. I love making plans and lists, and I love to follow said plans and lists. When I set a goal, I like to accomplish it. I find satisfaction in checking things off and achieving all I set out to do. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but sometime around the 3.5 child born I really had to be okay with things not being perfect in my home.
I realized that I put lots of pressure on myself to clean the entire house top-to-bottom every week, do every bit of laundry and put it away, be at every church event, go to every shower or party I was invited to, spend spare moments tending to my husband, and never run out of anything we needed for the household ever! That pressure got to me at least once a month (guess when). I’ve learned over the years to just chill out and not be so regimented. Relax a bit. I’ve opted to have a personal quiet time when the kids do instead of using that time for work. The result has been great for my sanity.
I won’t lie. There’s always dishes to get done at night, and laundry to fold while spending time with my husband. The house never gets a complete scrubbing every week, I don’t make it to everything on the calendar, I substitute ingredients for what ever I have on hand, and we run out of coffee creamer. I’ve even worried if we had enough toilet paper to last until the next day. One thing that makes all of these inconveniences worth it, is that I can take a deep breath and feel more graceful in running the household. I no longer feel like I’m on the edge of a breakdown. I don’t get anxious if I go to bed with dishes in the sink. If I meal plan, and then I don’t have time– due to the days events– for “Tuesday tacos”, no big deal. I have what I need for spaghetti. Go with the flow.
Let me just point out a little something before you think I’ve gone hoarder-relaxed, or nothing-to-eat calm, or everyone’s out of underwear. I plan still. I’ve mentioned before that I am loving Organizing Life as Mom. I plan out my days and weeks. I make my shopping and packing lists. I just don’t follow it to-the-tee. I use it as a wonderful guideline to help me see in plain writing what “the plan” is. I don’t allow myself to feel defeated and less of a wife if it doesn’t all get done. If a friend needs me, I throw out the plan for the day. If Nick wants to pack up and have a family day, I don’t say “no” because it’s laundry day. If I set out to write a post everyday for a month and only seem to write half of the posts because we get sick and life happens, and ministry gets tough– that’s okay. I am still a work-in-progress, but I’ve learned to be more flexible in life. The more you’re stretchy like a rubber band, the less you’ll snap like a stick. That’s better for everyone right?